I feel like every day I’m saying you’re in for a treat….that’s because you are! Today, we have RD rockstar Sharon Palmer on the blog. Sharon is an expert in plant-based nutrition and has authored two books on the subject now. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sharon on articles for Environmental Nutrition and got to spend some time with her at Oldways in Florida this year. She’s super sweet and I just admire the work she does. She develops delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes on her blog and you’re lucky enough that she’s sharing a few on the blog with us today! If you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based eating into your diet, this post is for you. Thanks for the guest post, Sharon!
It seems like everyone wants to eat a plant-based diet these days. It’s no wonder, considering the multiple health benefits that come from this eating style, that more people are trading in their steaks for kale (and lentils, mushrooms and tofu!). Studies show that eating a plant-based diet is linked with a lower risk for cancer, heart disease, and obesity-related illnesses, as well as a lower carbon footprint. And it’s not an all or nothing approach—you don’t have to be a total vegetarian to enjoy a plant-based diet. You just need to focus more of your plate on plants, and less on animal foods.
So, to help inspire you to make way for more plants, I’m sharing my 5 favorite tips for eating a plant based diet:
- Eat 1-2 servings of veggies at every meal. Find unique ways to incorporate vegetables throughout the day—put spinach in your smoothie, pack a bell pepper in your lunch box, or put steamed broccoli in your quinoa.
- Make small changes. Some people find gradual changes to be effective. For example, start out slowly by adapting Meatless Monday—enjoy one day a week as a vegetarian. And then go from there!
- Make fruit your go to dessert. Sure, it’s important to eat your veggies, but it’s just as crucial to get your fruit in, too. Fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, so they will keep you fuller throughout your day and help prevent you from over-eating. Try to shoot for 3-4 servings of fruit per day by making it your sweet reward at each meal or snack!
- Switch to more plant-based proteins. The true secret of a plant-based diet is switching out animal proteins—meat, fish, poultry, yogurt—for more plant proteins, such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds. Let them be the star of your plate.
- Make plant-based meals delicious! Let your plant-based dishes shine with fresh ingredients, crunchy whole grains, green herbs, vibrant spices, and a drizzle of healthy fats. I have included a list of some of my favorite go-to summer recipes, so go ahead and indulge healthfully.
- 3 cups assorted herbs and salad greens (see Note)
- 2 medium fresh kiwis peeled and sliced (see Note)
- ½ medium yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- Pinch of sea salt, optional
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped raw pistachios
- In a salad bowl, lightly toss together herbs and greens, kiwis, and bell pepper.In a small dish, make the dressing by whisking together the orange juice, olive oil, black pepper,
- orange zest, and sea salt, if desired.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss together. Sprinkle with the pistachios.
You may use pre-trimmed, prewashed herbs and salad greens in a bag, and/or substitute fresh strawberries for the kiwis.
Recipe Courtesy of Sharon Palmer, RDN
For more summer recipes, check out my Herb Greek Salad with Tomato Rice, Vegetable Mushroom Stroganoff, and Refreshing Grapefruit Ice “Cream”.
Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian, author of Plant-Powered for Life